Bus corridors at heart of overhaul of Dublin's public transport system
Dublin's public transport system is to be radically overhauled with 17 new bus corridors, transport chiefs have vowed.
The planned "next generation" routes will be bus-only lanes for their entire length in and out of the city centre as well as three orbital routes around the capital.
Three of the corridors will be specially designed for "rapid transit" buses which are faster and quicker to get on and off.
Roads will need to be widened and parking bays sacrificed under the proposals which will include segregated cycling lanes along the routes.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) said the bus corridors will make it easier and quicker for bus commuters throughout the capital.
Key routes in and out of the city centre include from Dun Laoghaire, Bray, Rathfarnham, Clondalkin, Lucan, Finglas, Ballymun and Ringsend.
The orbital routes will link Dun Laoghaire to Baldoyle, UCD to Blanchardstown and Ranelagh to Drumcondra, all avoiding central Dublin.
The rapid transit corridors will run from Swords to the city centre, and cross city from Tallaght to Clongriffen and UCD to Blanchardstown.
The overhaul is expected to cost more than one billion euro.
The NTA believes it can boost the number of people choosing to travel by bus in Dublin by 50%.
Other improvements include a new ticketing system and moving towards cashless fares which can be paid using bank cards or smartphones.
The public are to be consulted about a new livery for the buses themselves while better bus stops, more park-and-ride facilities and switching to low-emissions vehicles have been promised.
Transport Minister Shane Ross said the plans will potentially transform Dublin's bus system when it comes to speed, punctuality, reliability and convenience.
"This plan also aims to make cycling more attractive to all, which can have many positive impacts, meaning that using the bus or bike rather than the car to get around, will make more sense for more people," he said.
"And it will add to the energy, vibrancy and dynamism of a great city."
Ciaran Cuffe, of the Green Party, described the plan as a "step in the right direction" but warned a more integrated transport network is needed.
"That means making it easier to transfer from one bus to another, and also to transfer between Luas, Dart and commuter rail," he said.
"Seamless connectivity is the key, and is needed between all forms of transport.
Mr Cuffe added that more buses and lower fares are also necessary to tackle worsening congestion.